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Franz Kafka

I feel an unhappiness which almost dismembers me, and at the same time am convinced of its necessity.  ― Franz Kafka, Diaries of Franz Kafka. (Schocken October 30, 1988) Originally published 1949.

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Jack Gilbert

Ovid in Tears Love is like a garden in the heart, he said. They asked him what he meant by garden. He explained about gardens. “In the cities,” he said, “there are places walled off where color and decorum are magnified into a civilization. Like a beautiful woman,” he said. How like a woman, they… Continue reading Jack Gilbert

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Robert Penn Warren

And she drew my face down and pressed her lips against mine to stop my words. Her lips were cold, but they hung upon mine. I too was perfectly cold, as of mortal chill. And the coldness was the final horror of the act which we performed, as though two dolls should parody the shame… Continue reading Robert Penn Warren

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Walt Whitman

I am the poet of the Body and I am the poet of the Soul, The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with me, The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate     into new tongue. — Walt Whitman, from Section 21 of “Song of… Continue reading Walt Whitman

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Julia Kristeva

Nihilistic depression comes from the programmed decline of the singularity that is intelligence acting through love which slumbers within each one of us and which, in longing to encounter the totally other, recognizes what is extraordinary in him or in her, makes it exist in the space of time, and takes inspiration from it in… Continue reading Julia Kristeva

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Octavio Paz

The poem is a variation on the old theme of Narcissus, although there is no allusion to it in the text. And it is not only the consciousness that contemplates itself in its empty, transparent water ( both mirror and eye at the same time, as in the Valery poem ) : nothingness, which imitates… Continue reading Octavio Paz

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